Need to get rid of a mole

Need to get rid of a mole
Vikas Puthiyedath

Vikas Puthiyedath

Do you need to get rid of a mole? Moles can be a source of embarrassment and concern from both a cosmetic and medical standpoint. However, there are safe mole-removal procedures that can get rid of these permanent blemishes as well as the negative impact it has on a person’s self-esteem.

What is a mole?

Moles are formed when skin cells grow in a cluster, rather than being spread out throughout the skin. Moles come in all shapes and sizes and are usually brown or black in colour. Moles typically show up in the teens and can appear anywhere on the body, either alone or in groups.

Most moles are harmless. However, any differences in a mole’s size, shape or colour could be a warning sign to get it examined and removed by a doctor trained in dermatology and cosmetic medicine. Also new moles appearing after the age of 40 may require a closer evaluation by a dermatologist.

Effective ways to remove moles

Mole removal is a simple surgical process with a short recovery period. Moles can be removed by either surgical shaving, excision, or by using a laser radiation. Some cases may require the application of a local anaesthetic. The exact type of treatment will depend on factors such as the size and depth of the mole.

Surgical shave: If the mole is small, flat and superficial, it can be shaved off just below skin level with a surgical scalpel. The procedure is done after numbing the skin. A skilled dermatologist can minimise the appearance of a scar. However, scars caused by keloids may not fade over time.

Surgical excision: If the mole is larger or protruding, the dermatologist will cut out the whole mole with a surgical scalpel and then stitch the wound close. The area is numbed before the procedure. The stitches put in can be removed in two weeks’ time.

Laser removal: Laser treatment uses powerful 532nm laser radiation to shatter the melanin pigment spots in the skin and thus, removing the moles. After the laser treatment, the area is treated with an antiseptic and bandaged. A scab will form over the treated mole, which will eventually fall off on its own. It will take a few weeks for the new skin to return to regular pigmentation.

Moles should always be checked for the presence of skin cancer before being removed for cosmetic reasons.  Suspicious moles can be checked by pathology before cosmetic removal. The dermatologist can do a biopsy of the mole by testing the tissue under a microscope to see whether it’s cancerous or not.

The ideal place for mole removal

If the mole is making an individual self-conscious about appearances, then having it removed should be considered. Also, if the mole turns out to be painful when it comes into contact with clothing, then a mole removal procedure is recommended. Finally, if there are concerns of a mole being malignant, then a mole removal process should be definitely advised.

If you need to get rid of a mole, book an appointment with Dr. Targett at Advanced Cosmetic Medicine (ACM) and Laser Clinic. Dr. Targett is a specialist in Primary Care Dermatology and Dermoscopy. For more details on the best mole removal in Adelaide, click here.